Kipruto, Cheruiyots left out of Kenya Olympic team

NAIROBI, Kenya — Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto and world 1,500-meter titleholder Timothy Cheruiyot missed out on Kenya’s provisional team for the Tokyo Games as the national trials ended on Saturday.

Kipruto, who is also a two-time world champion, dropped out of the steeplechase after two laps at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi.

Cheruiyot faded on the home straight to finish fourth in the 1,500 and limped away to a medical tent. They could both still make the Olympics if Kenya chooses to select them as wild cards.

Kipruto is currently on bail after being charged with statutory rape last year.

The 37-year-old Vivian Cheruiyot was another high-profile omission from the 41-member athletics team. She is the Olympic champion in the 5,000 and hoped to compete in the marathon in Tokyo. She has also won four world titles in the 5,000 and 10,000.

Olympic marathon champion and world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and Faith Kipyegon, the women’s 1,500 Olympic champion, headline the team and are in line to defend their titles. World record-holders Beatrice Chepkoech (women’s steeplechase) and Peres Jepchirchir (women’s half-marathon) also made the team.

Kenya’s team is due to go into camp on Monday at the sports centre where the trials were held, and will be kept confined in a bio-bubble because of the coronavirus pandemic. All of the athletes will be tested for the virus before being allowed to join the camp, Kenya Olympic team chief Waithaka Kioni said.

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